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What should I upgrade in my current computer (in order of importance)

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November 19, 2012 4:35:22 PM

Well first of all I would like to say hi all and I appreciate any answers. So i started looking for a gaming pc at a low budget (set by my wife who disagrees with my gaming habits) this was fine because i like to start with a cheap upgradeable platform (Im the learn how to DIY kinda guy). I ended up finding a computer on craigslist for 300 dollars and bought it. Now 300 for a gaming computer is ridiculously cheap, so im looking to put a few upgrades in over time (things i can justify to my wife spending 100-150 at a time on) so I am asking for advice based on order of importance what should i upgrade)

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Approximate Purchase Date: Well two weeks ago but it was built about 2 years ago

Budget Range:100-200 after rebates and shipping (if possible I wont not consider something because of a small extra cost)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, music production

Are you buying a monitor: no



Parts to Upgrade: Gpu(current ati radeon 5830), Cpu (current phenom ii x4 2.8ghz), motherboard (current asus m4a785td-v evo), I have a 630 watt xion xon-630 PSU but will upgrade if necessary for crossfire

Do you need to buy OS: no

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.newegg.com, www.tigerdirect.com

Location: Hastings, Minnesota USA

Parts Preferences: Thinking about Phenom ii x4 black edition 3.4ghz (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...),
radeon hd 5xxx or 6xxx (will probably buy on ebay so I can search for it myself), im clueless on the motherboard (I would appreciate suggestions if its not a hassle)

Overclocking: possibly in the future when i feel more comfortable with it

SLI or Crossfire: If its more cost effective to crossfire 2 5830s for now i will

Your Monitor Resolution: Running at 1024x768 i believe not insanely important to me

Additional Comments: I would just eventually like to upgrade my pc to future proof it, BF3, skyrim, Far cry 3, Crysis 3, guild wars 2

I realize that this computer certainly isnt the best out there and maybe never will be but, if i can get it to ITs top performance i will be happy.

Essentially what i'm asking is: what should I upgrade first? The Gpu, Cpu or motherboard, is it possible to keep my Mobo and upgrade to the Phenom ii X4 black edition (will it be compatible with my Mobo, this would be preferable as i am nervous about taking the Mobo out/replacing). Secondly I've read around and got mixed reviews so im stuck between crossfiring two 5830's (my motherboard does support crossfire) or just getting one better Gpu. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, im certainly not expecting the best in my price range, just what i should upgrade first to last, I have a general idea of what im getting, just not what is most important. I've looked around for a few hours and couldn't find any specifics, and decided to try a forum. Thanks and have a great day!

Best solution

November 20, 2012 8:19:43 PM

First off, don't bother trying to do Xfire on a board that has x16, x4 PCIe slots. I've tried that. The x4 slot will not provide adequate bandwidth for 2 mid/high range cards.

Your biggest immediate bang for the buck will be with a CPU upgrade, followed closely by a graphics card upgrade. The HD 5830 is still a pretty good card for gaming. At the super low resolution you are gaming at, I can't think of any game that your present system won't max out. 1024x768 is pretty easy on both card and CPU. If you move up to gaming on a 1080p HDTV or monitor, you'll want to upgrade the card for sure. Economical suggestion for a GPU upgrade: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Your board will accept any Phenom II X4 or X6 available (if you can still find them). You may need to look for them on ebay pretty soon. The last of the new 965BEs are fast disappearing. Maybe ebay.
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A785TDV_EVO/...



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November 20, 2012 8:26:24 PM

I would upgrade the power supply and prolly the CPU first. The 5830 isnt all that bad as said above. You can upgrade that processor to a nice Phenom II X4 Black Edition, like a 965 and get really good performance.
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November 20, 2012 11:11:31 PM

Ok first off thank you for the answers very helpful, after talking to an surprisingly very knowledgeable best buy rep I decided on the 1045t or higher x6 is this a good choice? I really love that 7850 it was one of the cards i was looking at that i really like so hopefully the deal stays on newegg. I did decide against crossfire and thank you for pointing out that one of them was x4 slot i didnt even realize it and I checked lol. Heres the thing im playing on a 1080p tv, but that's not what resolution my card is outputting does that matter? I will upgrade my cpu first thank you, just got a cm 212 evo so im psyched about that.
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November 20, 2012 11:22:37 PM

Best answer selected by Davschall.
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November 20, 2012 11:24:27 PM

When you get your new processor installed, uninstall the existing graphic driver, reboot, and install the latest driver anew. There should be no reason the HD 5830 with the recent drivers isn't providing 1920x1080 resolution option. What resolution is the Windows desktop?
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November 20, 2012 11:38:06 PM

Well when turn my tv on it says its 1290x720?
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November 20, 2012 11:56:01 PM

davschall said:
Well when turn my tv on it says its 1290x720?

1280x720? Sounds like a 720p HDTV.
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November 21, 2012 12:11:29 AM

Well when i use my xbox it outputs at 1080p, so i think it is my computer, cause it goes between 1024x768 and 1290x720.
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November 21, 2012 1:50:25 AM

Xbox is 720p. It just upscales the TV to 1080p or 1080i. Your PC has the ability to allow you to choose the resolution yourself. If your TV is truly a 1080p TV, then you can choose that resolution in Windows and your games. Right-click on your desktop and choose screen resolution. You should be able to choose 1080p.
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